Egads- From the web to the workshops, I have no idea what I’m doing

You ever get the feeling you were born in the wrong era? I think I have that feeling on a near daily basis, that along with the feeling I am an alien deposited on this earth and left behind like E.T. only I look like everyone else, so, it’s just confusing.

I finally got my RSS feed set up. Not that I know why really. I had someone that read my poetry blog mention that he had wanted to subscribe. I watched a tutorial on how to do it and now, there it is, on the right, all orange, and with bent stripes. It totally freaks me out. First off, I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would subscribe to this or any of my blogs, and secondly, does this mean I need to keep up, you know stay on top of updating because I just don’t think I can handle that kind of pressure. I don’t mind the idea of people stumbling across my ramblings and then moving on, but subscribing, that’s different. For wanting to be a published writer I have some issues with publicly sharing my writing. I am torn between recluse and…uh… whatever the alternative is, not opposite, but alternative. So why set it up? I don’t know! But I did, the orange box is there, and I have more potential to be seen. Perhaps my alien parents will see the signal and come back for me. Man, what I wouldn’t do for some Rieces Pieces and a portable player- simple those 70’s and early 80’s.

Anyway…

I had my writing workshop these past two days. I ended up having about seven or eight youth come to the workshop and two staff members sat in, one from Outside In and the other from New Avenues for Youth. The staff were both interns, so its funny because they like to pick my brain, and ask me questions; like I know what I am doing. I don’t. Sure, I have volunteered for the writing workshops for about three years now, but I don’t have a degree so the interns most likely know far more than I ever will, but still, I can talk big. God, I think it has actually been almost four years. I have one more workshop with homeless youth and then in a couple of weeks I will be doing a 6 week workshop with middle school children. This age will be new for me. I have no idea what to expect. Adults are much more appreciative vocally than kids. With kids you never know if they like the experience, and let’s be honest, they take it a bit for granted. Where as adults, they are pretty grateful, especially if they come from or live in a marginalized environment. Kids, the only way to tell is if they come back, although homeless youth can be even more difficult to tell because they often leave half way through the workshops, but really that is just part of the demographic. I gave up trying to figure out if I was doing a good job or not. I come prepared do the best I can, and give all the energy I have, and then I just have to let go of it. If people ask how it went, I usually shrug, because that is all I know.

Today, in a meeting while getting prepped for my new group, I was introduced as the youth guru. This is mind-blowing for me. I mean seriously, youth guru? I just shake my head. I don’t get it. It had made me think of the first time I had worked with youth about four years ago. I had worked in a halfway or transitioning home for girls. I had really like them, and oddly enough one of them was on the bus with me today. I hadn’t seen her in four years. She’s probably 18 now but, I am not allowed to speak to her. At least I can not address her, you know say, “Hi I was your volunteer facilitator four years ago, how are you”. If she were to talk to me I could answer, but I am not permitted to go up to her. It was difficult. Inside I wanted to know how she was and what she was doing in her life, but I couldn’t. We had eye contact, and I worried and hoped that she’d recognize me. I smiled because I couldn’t help it, and she smiled back in that, “oh a stranger smiled at me” way, but then her face dropped, sort of like a perplexed shadow. She recognized me or something but couldn’t place me or wasn’t certain. Then I got off the bus. That’s they way it has to be. Still, it is weird. You have to remain disconnected. I don’t know, maybe that is why I always feel like I have no idea how a workshop goes because of the distance and the disconnect. Thing about my first group: those girls all chipped in together and got me a plant, an Anthurium. I still have it. I’m very proud of it, she has bloomed yet another year, and her leaves have grown to the size of my hand. I guess if I could have said anything to the girl it would have been to say that I still have the plant, and it still makes me proud.

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